CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — Hassan Haskins ran for 125 yards and a touchdown, Zach Charbonnet had 116 yards rushing, and No. 16 Michigan needed a late surge to put away Illinois 42-25 on Saturday.
The Wolverines (5-1, 3-1 Big Ten) built a 28-0 lead by halftime, but turnovers and ineffective offense helped the Illini (2-4, 0-3) cut the lead to 28-25 with 12:50 left in the fourth quarter when Dre Brown ran in from a yard out. Brown also converted a 2-point conversion.
Michigan responded with a long drive capped by Shea Patterson’s 5-yard touchdown pass to Donovan Peoples-Jones. Patterson ran for a score after Michigan forced a turnover at the Illini 1 to seal it for Michigan.
“No worries,” Patterson said when asked about the Illinois run. “I mean, we were a little frustrated but it turned out OK.”
Matt Robinson, starting for the injured quarterback Brandon Peters, a graduate transfer from Michigan, was 16 of 25 for 192 yards and one touchdown for Illinois. He also ran for a score.
Michigan racked up 489 yards total offense to Illinois’ 256.
“We scored 42 points. It was a tough, windy day. We were tested and we put in some hard work,” Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh said. “They made some good adjustments and we just kept fighting. We didn’t flinch.”
Michigan lost two more fumbles, raising its season total to nine lost on a total of 17 fumbles.
“Yeah, it’s a concern,” he said. “We’re going to continue to look at it.”
Illinois coach Lovie Smith, who is facing mounting criticism among Illinois fans, saw some positives in the loss,
“We’re at the half (of the season), and there’s disappointment,” he said. “But we showed in third quarter, we can change things up. We can do that in the second half of the season as well.”
Michigan: Coming off a 10-7 victory against Iowa, Michigan’s offense looked a lot better, but Illinois’ defense can do that to an opponent.
Illinois: Credit the Illini for coming back against a good defense with a backup quarterback, but the turnovers helped a lot.
Michigan could lose a little ground after a sloppy performance, but probably not much if any.
Michigan: Travels to No. 10 Penn State.
Illinois: Hosts No. 8 Wisconsin.
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